Spaghetti with dried baby shrimps, anchovies and dill

SPAGHETTI UMAMI | A fusion dish comprised of dill, lemon, anchovies and dried baby shrimp.

Despite I’m trying to embark on a keto diet, I had an irresistible craving for pasta today – one that I could not resist. To that effect, I acted on my instincts and came up with my own modified lemon and dill spaghetti – a fusion of asian and western ingredients.

First, select a high quality pasta. Here, I use Martelli, simply my favourite. Second, instead of salt, I urge you to substitute it with anchovies. You will not regret the complexity it adds in terms of packing in an umami punch. This is the “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter – and is a fascinating piece in the jigsaw of our gastronomic evolution. Thou shall not forget.

Third, baby dried shrimps. These baby shrimps are sun-dried until very small for preservation purposes and once again, like the anchovies, impart a unique umami and seafood-like taste. You can find this delicacy in pretty much any Asian supermarket. Simply soak them briefly to reconstitute them (they will plump up), pat dry and they are good to go in any stir fry or pasta dish.

Fourth, get those sun-dried tomatoes ready and sliced thinly. I procured mine from Taormina in Sicily, but I’m sure you can find these in any high-end or Italian grocer.

Last but not least, you will need a high quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh dill, fresh lemon juice and a handful of dried red chilli flakes for the finishing touch.

Within 20 minutes you should be able to dish up a simple yet delectable dish whereby the flavours of each ingredient combine to yield a transformational spaghetti that will heighten your senses.

Spaghetti with dried baby shrimps, anchovies and dill

PREP TIME: 10 min | COOK TIME: 10 min | TOTAL TIME: 20 min


  • 60g of high quality spaghetti (such as Martelli)
  • 2 tablespoons of high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • Pinch of dried red chilli flakes, to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of dried baby shrimp
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely cut into shreds
  • 2 anchovies
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Boil pasta as per packet instructions, roughly 8-10 minutes till al dente. Be careful not to overcook. Drain once done.
  2. As pasta boils, head a frying pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Throw in the diced garlic, anchovies, dried baby shrimps, and sun-dried tomatoes. Once the anchovies begin to melt into the olive oil, add the chopped dill and lemon juice. Stir.
  3. Combine the spaghetti into the olive oil pasta ‘sauce’ and toss together with a pair of tongs until evenly coated.
  4. Crack black pepper and sprinkle with dried red chilli flakes before plating to serve.



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